KERRY’s bid to recapture Sam Maguire in 2024 has been dealt a huge blow with news that Jack Barry is heading to Australia for a year.
The news also dampens the good spirits in the Na Gaeil camp after they survived a Kingdom relegation play-off with a thrilling extra-time win over Kerins O’Rahilly’s at the weekend.
Na Gaeil has confirmed that the Kerry midfielder will have to travel for a year and will not be available to the club or county in 2024.
Na Gaeil midfield duo Barry and Diarmuid O’Connor are Kerry’s preferred duo for boss Jack O’Connor, particularly since the resignation of long-serving David Moran in January.
Barry, who turns 29 next month before his trip Down Under, will leave the big teams to strengthen his county team.
The 2022 All-Ireland winner’s duels with Dublin’s Brian Fenton have been a prominent feature of recent clashes between the arch-rivals and his absence will do no harm to the Dubs’ hopes of retaining their All-Ireland title next summer.
Barry made his Championship debut against Clare in 2017.
He played in All-Ireland finals in 2019, including a replay, in 2022 and 2023, both against Dublin, with the Kingdom’s only win coming 16 months ago.
Kerry do not appear to have a ready replacement at the moment, so coach O’Connor will welcome the recent return of former captain Joe O’Connor after a year out with a cruciate ligament injury.
Meanwhile, a Na Gaeil teammate of Barry’s, Damien Burke, has been invited to join Kerry’s senior training group, which will soon fly to New York for a five-day break.